Switzerland are a side which has consistently punched above their weight at major tournaments, having progressed from their group at their last four major tournaments.
While they previously fell at the first hurdle come the knockout-stages, last year’s European Championships were a different story as they stunned world champions France in the last-16, progressing on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw in which Granit Xhaka was the star of the show.
Last time out on the world stage, the Swiss progressed to the last-16 but came a cropper to Sweden by a solitary goal. Similarly in 2014, a last-minute Angel Di Maria beauty resulted in a heartbreaking defeat to Argentina in the first knockout round.
There will be a familiar feel in Qatar for the Swiss, with two of their group opponents from 2018 – Brazil and Serbia – matched up with them again, with the addition of Cameroon this time round.
Here is everything you need to know:
Group fixtures (all times GMT)
Thursday 24 November: Switzerland vs Cameroon – 10:00
Monday 28 November: Brazil vs Switzerland – 16:00
Friday 2 December: Serbia vs Switzerland – 19:00
Goalkeepers: Gregor Kobel (Borussia Dortmund), Philipp Kohn (RB Salzburg), Jonas Omlin (Montpellier), Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Defenders: Manuel Akanji (Manchester City), Eray Comert (Valencia), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ricardo Rodriguez (Torino), Fabian Schar (Newcastle United), Silvan Widmer (Mainz)
Midfielders: Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz), Fabian Frei (Basel), Remo Freuler (Nottingham Forest), Ardon Jashari (Luzern), Fabian Rieder (Young Boys), Xherdan Shaqiri (Chicago Fire), Djibril Sow (Eintracht Frankfurt), Renato Steffen (Lugano), Denis Zakaria (Chelsea), Michel Aebischer (Bologna)
Forwards: Breel Embolo (Monaco), Christian Fassnacht (Young Boys), Noah Okafor (RB Salzburg), Haris Seferovic (Galatasaray), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg)
Ones to watch
Star – Granit Xhaka: The Swiss captain with 106 caps to his name has started the season in superb fashion, playing in a box-to-box role for Arsenal and a key cog in their terrific start to the season. The combative midfielder, 30, was man-of-the-match in Switzerland’s triumph against France at Euro 2020 last year and could guide the Swiss to the latter stages should his excellent form continue at his fifth major tournament.
Breakout talent – Ruben Vargas: The Augsburg winger scored one of Switzerland’s penalties against France in the shootout last year and played a pivotal role in his country’s run to the quarter-finals. The 24-year-old could be Switzerland’s hidden gem in attack.
Recent history tells us that Switzerland will emerge from the group and not much further – and that’s a likely scenario this year too. They drew to Brazil four years ago and while Neymar and Co are clear group favourites, it is all to play for amongst the other three teams and it could well come down to a final game winner-takes-all clash against Serbia. Could play Portugal or Uruguay in the last-16, which may be a step too far. Yet don’t underestimate a team which finished above Italy in their qualifying group. Defeated in the last 16.